“Y’all gon’ make me lose my mind up in here, up in here!” Those are the lyrics of rapper-almost-turned-preacher DMX. Lifted from his hit single, “Party Up,” I find the words quite fitting as we wade through this summer of blood in Chicago. The local headlines blare the shooting death of a young girl jumping rope and a preschooler accidentally shooting his twin brother. What has happened to our “wunnerful, wunnerful city”? How much more tragedy and violence can we endure? What happens when the neighborhood says, “Enough”? Does the community even have the strength to utter such a command?

Prominent Chicagoans like Mayor Daley and White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf have signed the Peace Pledge along with not-so-prominent Chicagoans. I’m still waiting on CPD Superintendent Jody Weis to sign his copy. Why? Because he needs better intel. He has stated on several occasions that the CPD’s ability to reduce this summer’s violence is being thwarted by the so-called “Code of Silence.” For those of us who live in the neighborhoods where this violence is actually happening, we keep trying to tell the powers that be that none of our hardworking families and residents have taking some mythical vow of silence – rather, our communities are paralyzed by a deep, dark and palpable fear.

Evil feeds on fear. Fear demonizes the feared and cripples the fearful. The ancient scriptures teach us that demons must be cast out. Modern psychology advocates various treatments and therapies for those possessed of psycho-sociopathic personalities.

I believe that, before this problem can be effectively addressed, our overworked and undermanned police force must accept and work from the premise that any lack of community cooperation is based on a valid and visceral fear that the many cannot be protected and are at the merciless mercy of the very violent few.

Law enforcement and our justice system, with their therapy and treatment, are charged with exorcising these demons. I’m tired, so before we talk about the flaws and inequities behind the badge and in the courts and prisons, let’s put our arguments aside and stop all this madness, all this killing ’cause “Y’all gon’ make me lose my mind up in here, up in here!”


Follow Rev. Gregory Seal Livingston on Twitter: www.twitter.com/gslivingston